|Eggplants have a glossy skin and a cream colored spongy interior. Taste varies slightly between varieties, but expect a pleasant bitter taste with a soft springy texture.
||Eggplants look hardy but are extremely perishable. They store best at temperatures around 50 degrees. Wrap them in plastic and place them in the crisper compartment of your fridge. Keep in mind that they spoil rapidly once the skin has been broken. Wash under cool water and pat dry before preparing.
||Eggplant parm is always a favorite. But for something new: cube and bake eggplant with grilled peppers, lentils, onions and garlic and top with balsamic vinaigrette.
What else is in your bag? Back to this week's harvest guide!
Walnut Stuffed Eggplant
Yield: 4 hearty servings
- 2 1-pound eggplants (450g each)
- 1/2 pound (225g) tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 pound (115g) cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup (240 ml) chopped onions
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) walnuts
- 1 6-ounce (170g) can tomato paste
- 3 heaping tablespoons capers, well drained
- 2 to 3 small ripe tomatoes, sliced
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, slicing through the stem end. Using a curved, serrated grapefruit knife, scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch (.5 cm) thick shell, and coarsely chop the flesh. Put the chopped eggplant into a large, deep skillet or flat bottom wok.
Rub the inside of the eggplant shells with a small amount of olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Place the eggplant shells under the broiler and broil them 3 inches (7.5 cm) from the heat source for 5 to 10 minutes, until fork tender. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Remove the eggplant shells from the broiler and set them aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (Gas Mark 5). Add the chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, olive oil, salt, cinnamon, and pepper to the skillet with the chopped eggplant, and cook and stir for 7 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Coarsely grind the walnuts in a nutmill and add them to the skillet along with the tomato paste and capers. Mix well.
Fill the eggplant shells with the vegetable mixture and top with tomato slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake, uncovered, for 25 to 35 minutes. .
Olive Oil Roasted Eggplant with Lemon
- 1 large eggplant
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, then cut each half into quarters lengthwise. Cut each of those in half to make two shorter quarters. Place the eggplant onto the baking sheet with the skin side down. Brush each piece with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast in the preheated oven until softened and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with lemon juice. Serve hot.
- 1 large eggplant, about 1 1/2 pounds
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups fine, dry bread crumbs mixed with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- olive oil
- 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried leaf basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano, crumbled
- 16 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions for Eggplant Parmesan
Wash eggplant and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Dip into beaten eggs then dredge with seasoned bread crumbs. Place slices on a plate and chill for 30 to 45 minutes. Heat about 1/8-inch of oil in a heavy skillet. Fry eggplant on both sides until golden brown and crispy. Drain well on paper towels. In a saucepan, heat tomato sauce, basil, and oregano. Spread 1/3 of the sauce in a greased 12x8x2-inch baking dish. Layer half of the eggplant, half of the mozzarella cheese slices, another 1/3 of the sauce, and half the Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Eggplant Parmesan serves 6.
Cook Time: 35 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 small eggplant, cubed
- 2 green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
- 4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped, or 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
- 3 to 4 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon dried leaf basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
In a 4-quart Dutch oven or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add eggplant; stir until coated with oil. Add peppers; stir to combine. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep vegetables from sticking.
Add tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs; mix well. Cover and cook over low heat about 15 minutes, or until eggplant is tender but not too soft.
Eggplant Caprese with Grilled Tomato and Basil Vinaigrette
On the grill
- 1 (1-pound) globe eggplant, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- Olive oil (for grilling)
- 1 large plum tomato (about 4 ounces)
For the dish
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 (7- to 8-ounce) balls fresh or buffalo mozzarella cheese, drained, thinly sliced
- 2 pounds (about 4 large) heirloom tomatoes (preferably assorted colors), thinly sliced
Prepare barbecue (medium heat).
Arrange eggplant slices on baking sheet.
Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill until slightly charred and tender, turning occasionally and moving to cook evenly, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet. Grill plum tomato until skin is charred and split, turning often, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to sheet with eggplant and cool.
Core plum tomato; place in blender.
Add chopped basil, vinegar, and 1/4 cup oil. Blend until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl.
Do Ahead: Eggplant and dressing can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Overlap eggplant slices, cheese slices, and heirloom tomato slices on individual plates or large platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle salad with dressing and garnish with basil sprigs.
- 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup drained canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons (generous) tahini (sesame seed paste)*
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise, then score flesh in crisscross pattern at 1-inch intervals, 1/2 inch deep. Rub cut sides with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with salt. Place eggplant on rimmed baking sheet, cut side down; bake until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool slightly, then scoop flesh into processor (discard skins). Add garbanzo beans, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, tahini, and garlic; puree until mixture is almost smooth. Transfer to bowl; stir in parsley. Season hummus to taste with salt and pepper.
Baked Eggplant with Feta Cheese
- 1 large or 2 medium eggplants
- olive oil
- 1/3 cup feta cheese or gorgonzola
- ¼ cup finely chopped and packed fresh basil
Heat broiler or grill. Cut eggplant into ½ inch slices. Brush sides with olive oil (sprinkle with salt if desired) and grill or broil until lightly browned on one side. Arrange on oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese over slices. Bake in 350F oven 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and eggplant is soft. Sprinkle basil over eggplant and serve hot. Makes 4-6 servings as a side.